After a lot of soul searching, going through mountains of research, asking lots of people lots of questions about the risks of home birth, the risks of post-partum haemorrhage, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing I am really insistent on is labouring in water- be that in a hospital or at home.
Don’t get me wrong- I love and prefer the serenity of a home birth, the calm and relaxed environment my home provides me, as it envelops me with love and protection of all the familiar sights and scents.
However, if it means that all those around me are stressed and unable to support me full-heartedly in my serenity, then I will cave. I will ignore the unfamiliar smells, the possible screams heard from other rooms, strangers interrupting my labour, my concentration, my breathing and I will go into hospital to deliver this baby.
The one thing I will not compromise on is labouring and delivering this baby in a birthing pool in water!*
After a very emotional morning spent discussing birth options with a Consultant Midwife at our local hospital, she and I have come to a compromise- when I go into labour I call the hospital and if there is a pool free then I will go in, otherwise I will have a homebirth.
Why my utter stubbornness in light of the risks I face? Well what we believe deep down has a bearing on how events pan out:
I have this enormous fear of labour. SPD is partly responsible for this, in making me so uncomfortable, whipping away a lot of the control I had over my body. Now-a-days not even lying down gives me much relief. Even at 27 weeks is a concerted effort turning over at night, one which I religiously wake up to each time I need reposition myself in the night. I feel like a beached whale most of the time. (…see even that metaphor portrays my yearning to be in water!)
Therein lies the problem: How can I battle gravity and give birth to a 5kg (11lb+) baby at the same time? I just cannot get my head around that. I cannot convince myself that I can..and if I don’t believe I can, there isn’t even a fighting chance that I actually will be able to do it, is there?
With the midwife today, we discussed the risks and the rapid access to care available if I haemorrhage again (which statistically I am likely to) in both the hospital or at home. She was trying to be supportive and not putting too much emotional pressure on me. She mentioned only once that there is a risk that I “could become very unwell”, where in extreme circumstances due to blood loss my blood would stop clotting. However, she quickly backed off, when I said I believe in myself and that I will not haemorrhage that badly, I however do not believe I can deliver this baby without the soothing support of water. I probably shocked her with my statement of – I feel I would rather drift off into a gentle eternal sleep after a serene delivery, than having to go through the torture and agony of delivery without water. …. I had flashes of myself as Joan d’Arc being tortured and burnt at this point. (Silly hormonal pregnant woman!!! …and probably a very valid rational criticism!)
… and I know, they have invented and have been successfully using the epidural, which take all that pain away!
Did I mention I also have extreme needle phobia? Just as proof I endured a tooth filling today without an injection because of that and would rather go through the agony of delivering my 1st baby who was OP (back to back) twice over than have a needle stuck in my spine again. (If it was lifesaving, then of course, that’s a different issue!)
It all boils down to what one believes in- I am trying hard to change my beliefs for the sake of my and my baby’s health. I know if I don’t believe in myself to be able to do this I will fail miserably.
I don’t want to fail and have recurring nightmares to remind me of the failure.
I just want my waterbirth! If everyone around me insists this has to be in a hospital they can break that little bit of my resolve. However, I will not allow them to break my faith in myself and my own abilities, because then they will break something irrevocably…they will break me!
Thank you for reading, this battle of mine between the rational and the emotional … maybe even spiritual. Comments are always welcome, just bare in mind this is not the rational talking. :o)
* Of course this is assuming it is a normal full term pregnancy and foetus not being breech or in significant distress- I still have a couple of rational bits in my body. 😉
Image credit- Deviant art xx- Fudgee